There are truths and untruths in the world of sports. And there are also opinions that are worth discussing. You may agree or disagree. Just do it with decorum. So begins this occasional feature as Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun embrace the debate:
Item No. 1
Quarterback Kyle Trask will be a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Andreu: Trask isn’t getting much Heisman love in the preseason magazines that have started coming out, so he’s starting out the season well behind early favorites Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. He’s going to have to have some special performances in the first half of the season against Kentucky, Tennessee and LSU — and the Gators are going to have to win those games — for Trask to start getting serious Heisman consideration. The big question is can he put up Heisman numbers with a new set of starting receivers and having to give up some playing time to redshirt sophomore Emory Jones every game? FICTION.
Dooley: It takes a leap of faith to believe this will happen not because of a lack of belief in Trask but because of a plethora of viable candidates. I have a feeling that the Downtown Athletic Club might let a couple of extra players get invited. (Usually, you have to be within shouting distance of the winner if you are not in the top three vote-getters.) Trask has a chance to put up great numbers and with the games against LSU and Georgia he has a chance to produce big wins. Look, the Heisman is decided in November when the games get bigger and especially if Florida beats the SEC West winner for a playoff berth. I don’t see him getting enough votes unless Florida is at least in the Final Six. But that could very well happen. FACT.
Item No. 2
Tennessee will still have a chance to win the SEC East when November begins.
Andreu: To have a chance in November, the Vols likely are going to have to get there with only one SEC loss. The problem with that is UT plays Florida in September and Alabama in October. Both of those games are at home, so the Vols have a chance. Another problem is South Carolina, which gets the Vols in Columbia in between the UF and Alabama games in what likely would be a big trap game. The Vols finished last season on a roll and feel like they are contenders now in the East. Whether they turn out to be or not might be determined in the second week of the season, when UT travels to Oklahoma. If the Vols are competitive and can hold their own, the confidence will still be there for the start of SEC play. If they get steamrolled, not so much. FICTION.
Dooley: Come on, man, the revival is on in Knoxville. Didn’t you see all of those wins down the stretch? OK, they didn’t beat anybody in the SEC during that six-game win streak with a winning record in conference games. In fact, those four teams were a combined 10-22. The swagger may be beaten out of them by the time UT gets to November, but that’s not the question. Will they have a chance going into that month? Likely, they will because of three softies from the SEC and what could be a win or go home against Georgia. So we’re saying there’s a chance? FACT.
Item No. 3
All of the scheduled bowl games will be played.
Andreu: This is a tough call because a lot of what happens in the next two months will determine how this season — and the postseason — ultimately plays out. I’m no medical expert (not even close, of course), but it sounds like if there is a second wave of coronavirus it likely would hit late in 2020 or early in 2021. That would pretty much put all the bowl games in jeopardy. With all the unknowns still out there about the regular season, and with what the virus might or might not do, it’s hard to fathom every one of these bowl games being played. FICTION.
Dooley: If we continue to make progress and there is no halt in regular season games, it will happen. But all of the bowl games have been preparing contingency games in case they have to shut it down. An optimist believes we will have everything the way it is supposed to be. Lord knows, we need us a Cheetos Bowl. But it’s difficult to believe that EVERY bowl will go on as scheduled. What we hope is that not many are canceled. FICTION.